How RV Solar Works

Solar power lets you take your RV off-grid and still use your refrigerator, lights and other appliances. The best part? It’s cost-effective, environmentally friendly, and requires little maintenance – but how does it work? In this guide, we will explain how RV solar works, and the components to a complete solar charging system.

 

A Complete RV Solar Charging System

Powering your RV’s internal components requires a number of moving parts, which all work together to collect, store and provide the power you need. Check out the interactive graphic below to learn more about the various components and how they interact.

Solar and Power Inverters

A solar panel is made up of individual solar cells — small devices that can convert sunlight to energy. Solar panels convert the sun’s energy into direct current (DC) electricity, and this charges your RV’s batteries, storing the electricity. When several panels are joined together you have a solar array.

 

If you’re asking yourself “But how much solar do I need?” Click here to check out our Solar Sizing Guide.

 

But how does that become usable power? By pairing your solar charging system with a power inverter, you can convert the DC power generated by solar to household AC (alternating current) power, to run your RV lights and appliances.

 

Sizing the right inverter for your RV is easy. Click here to learn how to size a power inverter for your RV. 

 

 

Want to Know More?

This brief video provides a more detailed, technical explanation of the process:

 

 

RV Solar Education Series

Are you interested in learning the ins-and-outs of your RV solar power system? In this 6-part series, we explain the key components of solar charging that work together to collect, regulate, store, and deliver power to your RV appliances. 

Click on an article to learn more about that individual component, and its role in your RV solar system:

Part 1 – How Solar Works in Your RV

Part 2 – Solar Panels

Part 3 – Batteries

Part 4 – Charge Controllers

Part 5 – Power Inverters

Part 6 – Power Converters/Transfer Switches/Battery Chargers